Imagens da página
PDF

adjoining (in Henley Street, Stratford) to Thomas Hart, grandson of Shakespeare's brother-in-law, William Hart; and to her kinsman, Edward Bagley, citizen of London, she bequeathed the residue of her property. Sir John Bernard survived his wife about four years, and was buried with her at Abington.107

Shakespeare's second daughter, Judith, a twin with Hamnet, was married on the 10th of February, 1616, to Thomas Quiney. She died in February, 1661-2, and was buried at Stratford; the issue of this marriage consisted of three sons, Shakespeare, Richard and Thomas, born respectively in November, 1616, February, 1617-18, and August, 1619. Of these children, Shakespeare died in May, 1617, Thomas in January, 1638, and Richard in February of the same year; no one of them having attained to man's estate; and thus absolutely terminated the poet's family in the Quiney branch.

Regarding the character and disposition of Shakespeare, the testimony of his contemporaries and the traditional accounts which have reached us, concur in extolling his integrity, ingenuousness, amiability, and lively wit. Chettle, as has been shown, acknowledges "his uprightness of dealing."108 Jonson, in a generous burst of enthusiasm, declares him to have been "indeed honest and of an open and free nature."109 Fuller110 has preserved for us a pleasant tradition of his social mirth. From what has been gathered of his history, and from what we know of his works, we can ourselves attest to his having been a man of rare industry, of sedulous attention to business, of unusual skill in the direction of affairs, of the right personal ambition, of admirable judgment, and to have been pre-eminently endowed with those indefinable, but well appreciated qualities, which go to make up what Englishmen understand by the term " Gentleman." His writings prove that he was exempt from the despicable weakness of sectarian animosity, since it is left for modern Papists and Protestants to dispute whether he belonged to the one denomination or the other. That he took extended views of public affairs, is manifest by the words of universal, not of temporary application, which he has put into the mouths of his kings and statesmen, and by the felicity with which he combined great freedom of expression •with abstinence from giving umbrage to the ruling authorities bf his time.

A good deal of argument has been expended with the view to determine the extent of his "learning." Gildon, Sewell, Upton, Whalley and others, contend that he was a man of extensive literary attainments. Dr. Farmer, on the other hand, having shown conclusively that his plays are full of historical and other errors, and that in all cases where he had the option of resorting to ancient authors in the original or to translations, he had recourse to the latter, represents him as positively illiterate, though allowing that he "remembered, perhaps, enough of his school-boy learning to put the Big, hag, hog, into the mouth of Sir Hugh Evans; and might pick up in the writers of the time, or the course of his conversation, a familiar phrase or two of French or Italian." The truth is probably between these extremes. Ben Jonson's evidence admits him to have had some, portion of Latin, if not a smattering of Greek; and although I think he had little acquaintance either with French or Italian, there is nothing to show that he had not an average amount of "schooling." A man who wrote thirty-seven plays in twenty-five years, who acted in most of them, who took a prominent part in the business of an extensive theatrical enterprise, who laboured assiduously for the improvement of his private affairs, and who by these means raised himself from a lowly position to one of wealth and influence, was not likely to prosecute a laborious study of dead or foreign languages. But that Shakespeare was intimately conversant with most branches of knowledge, that he had both read diligently and pondered deeply, that he was "an exact surveyor of the inanimate world," while he was familiar with all the varied pursuits of human-kind, cannot for a moment be denied. And if the stores of "learning" were not at his command, we have the testimony of a ripe scholar that bis native force enabled him to soar far above

■^ The entry of his burial stands thus in tho register book:—

"a, D. 1673. Sir John Bernard, Knight my noble and ever honoured Htrno, was buried 5th of March 1873." '* See page xxix.

"I, "I remember, the players have often mentioned it

u 4H honour to Shakespeare, that in his writing (what

merer he penned), he never blotted out a line. My answer

huh been Would he had blotted a thousand! Which

titer thought A malevolent speech. I had not told pos

terAr thin, but for their ignorance, who chose that cir- ' "redeemed his vices with his virtuos. There was ever more emmiace to commend their friend by, wherein he most in him to be praised than to be pardoned."—DUcomna, hnlted- and to justify mine own candour; for I loved —Jotuon'i II orkt, ix. 175, Gifford's cd. the nun and do honour his memory, on this side idolatry, I "» See page xxxii.

as much as any. He was (indeed) honest, and of an open and free nature ; had an excellent phantasy, brave notions, and gentlo expressions; wherein he flowod with that facility, that sometimes it was necessary he should be stopped: SnjHaminanctut erat; as Augustus said of Haterius. His wit was in his own power:' would the rule of it have been so too! Many times he fell into those things could not escape laughter: as when he said in the person of Cotsar, one speaking to him, 'Caesar, thou dost me wrong,' he replied, 'Caesar did never wrong but with just cause,' and such like ; which were ridiculous. But he 111 Campbell's Specimens of the British Poets, Vol. I. p. 48.

"all that insolent Greece or haughty Rome

Sent forth, or since did from their ashes come."

He found, as we know, the stage scarce emerged from barbarism; and by the vigour of his own genius, unaided by the models of the ancient theatre, he "expanded the magic circle of the drama beyond the limits that belonged to it in antiquity, made it embrace more time and locality, filled it with larger business and action, with vicissitudes of gay and serious emotion, which classical taste had kept divided; with characters which developed humanity in stronger light and subtler movements, and with a language more wildly, more playfully diversified by fancy and passion, than was ever spoken on any stage." m

SHAKESPEARE'S WILL.1

FROM THE ORIGINAL IN THE OFFICE OF THE PREROGATIVE COURT OF CANTERBURY.

Yiresimo quinlo die Martii* Anno Regni Domini nostri Jacobi nunc Regis Anglice, due. dccimo quarto, ct

Scotia xlix„. Annoque Domini 1616.

T. WTM-> Shackspeare

Is the name of god, Amen! I William Shakespeare of Stratford upon Avon, in the countie of warr. gent, in perfect health and memorie, god be praysed! doe make and Ordayne this my last will and testament in manner and forme followeing ; That ys to saye, First I Coraend my Soule into the handesof god my Creator, hoping, and assuredlie beleeving, through thonelie merites of Jesus Christe my Saviour, to be made partaker of lyfe cverlastinge, And my bodye to the Earth whereof yt ys made. Item, I Gyve and bequeath unto my Daughter8 Judyth, One hundred and Fyftie poundes of lawfull English money, to be paied unto her in manner and forme followeing, That ys to saye, One hundred poundes in discharge of her marriage porcion within one yeare after my deceas, with consideracion after the Rate of twoe Shillinges in the pound for soe long tyme as the same shalbc unpaied unto her after my deceas, and the Fyftie poundes Residewe thereof, upon her Surrendring of or gyving of such sufficient Securities as the overseers of this my Will shall like of, to Surrender or graunte All her estate and Right that shall descend or come unto her after my desceas, or that shee nowe hath, of in or to one Copiehold tenemente with thappurtenaunces, lyeing and being in Stratford upon Avon aforesaied, in the said county of warr. being parcel! or holden of the mannour of Rowington, unto my Daughter Susanna Hall, and her heires for ever. Item, I Gyve and bequeath unto my saied Daughter Judith One hundred and Fyftie Poundes more, if shee, or Anie issue of her bodie, be Lyvinge att thend of three yeares next ensueing the Daie of the Date of this my Will, during which tyme my executours to paie herconsideracion from my deceas according to the Rate aforesaied; And if she dye within the saied tearme without issue of her bodye, then my will ys, and I Doe gyve and bequeath One Hundred Poundes thereof to my Neece Elizabeth Hall, and the Fiftie Poundes to be sett fourth by my executours during the lief of my Sister Johane Harte, and the use and proffitt thereof Cominge, shalbe payed to my saied Sister Jone, and after her deceas the said 1". shall Remaine Amongst the children of my said Sister Equallie to be Devided Amongst them ; But if my saied Daughter Judith be lyving att thend of the saied three Yeares, or anie yssue of her bodye, then my will ys, and soe I Devise and bequeath the saied Hundred and Fyftie Poundes to be sett out by my executors and overseers for the best benefitt of her and her issue, and the stock not to be paied unto her soe long as she shalbe marryed and Covert Baron ; but'my will ys, that she shall have the consideracion yearelie paied unto her during her lief, and after her deceas, the said stock and consideracion to bee paied to her children, if she have Anie, and if not, to her executors or assignes, she lyving the said terme after my deceas : Provided that yf such husbond as she shall att thend of the saied three yeares be marryed unto, or at anie [tyme] after, doc sufficientlie Assure unto her, and thissue of her bodie landes Awnswereable to the porcion by this my will gyven unto her, and to be adjudged see by my executors and overseers, then my will ys, that the said CI", shalbe paied to such husbond as shall make such assurance, to his owne use. Item, I gyve and bequeath unto my saied sister Jone xx", and all my wearing Apparrell, to be paied and delivered within one yeare after my Deceas ; And I doe will and devise unto her the house with thappurtenaunces in Stratford, wherein she dwelleth, for her natural lid, under the yearlie rent of xijd.

Item, I gyve and bequeath unto her three sonnes, William Harte, [Thomas'] part, and Michaell Hartc, Fyve Poundes Apeecc, to be paied within one Yeare after my decease.6 Item, I gyve and bequeath unto the said

1 The will is written in the clerical hand of that period, on three sheets of paper, fastened together at top. The poet's name is signed at the bottom of the first and second sheet, and his final signature, "by me William Shakspeare," is near the middle of the third sheet. Malone was of opinion that he signed the last sheet first, and that the hand grew gradually weaker in signing the second and first pages. The words printed in Italics are those which in the original are interlined.

1 Originally written Januarii.

'Originally sonne and daughter.

4 This Christian name is omitted in the original will.

8 The following words were hero at first inserted, but afterwards cancelled: "to be sett out for her within one yeare after my decease by my executors with thadvise and diroccions of my overseers, for her best profitt, until her marriage, and then the same with the increase thereof to bo paied unto her."

Elizabeth Hall« All my.'platc, except my brod silver and gilt bole, that I now have att the Date of this my will. Item, I gyve and bequeath unto the Poore of Stratford aforesaied tenn poundes ; to Mr. Thomas Combe my Sword ; to Thomas Russell, Esquier, Fyve pounds; and to Francis Collins of the Borough of warr. in the countie of warr. gentleman, thirteene poundes Size shillinges and Eight pence, to be paied within one Yeare after my Decease. Item, I gyve and bequeath to Hamldt7 Sadler xxvi" viijd, to buy him A Ringe ; to William Raynoldes, gent, xxvi' viij", to buy him A Singe; to my godson William Walker xx' in gold; to Anthonye Nashe, gent. xxvi* viyd ; and to Mr. John Nashe, xxvi' viijd ; and to my Fellowes, John Hemyngu, Richard Burbage, and Henry Cundell, xxvi1 viij" Apeece, to buy them ringer. Item, I Give, will, bequeath, and devise, unto my daughter Susanna Hall, for better enabling of her to performe (hit my will, and toicardes theperformaw thereof, All that Capital messuage or tenement*, with thappurtenances, in Stratford aforesaid, Called the new place, wherein I now Dwell, and two Messuages or tcnementes, with thappurtenaunces, scituat, lyeing, and being iu Henley-streete, within the borough of Stratford aforesaied; And all my barnes, stables, Orchards, gardens, lands, tenements, and hereditamentes whatsoever, scituat, being, and being, or to be had, Receyved, perceyved, or taken, within the townes, Hamlets, Villages, Fieldes, and groundes of Stratford upon Avon, Oldstratford, Bushopton, and Welcombe, or in anie of them, in the said countie of warr. And alsoe All that messuage or tenemente, with thappurtenaunces, wherein One John Robinson dwelleth, scituat, lyeng, and being, in the blackfriers in London nere the Wardrobe ; and all other my landes, tenementes, and hereditamentes whatsoever: To have and to hold All and singular the saied premisses, with their appurtenaunces, unto the saied Susanna Hall, for and during the terme of her naturall lief; and after her decease to the first sonne of her bodie lawfullie yssueinge, and to the heires Males of the bodie of the saied first Sonne lawfully yssueinge; and for defalt of such issue, to the second Sonne of her bodie lawfullie issueinge, and to the heires males of the bodie of the said Second Sonne lawfully yssueing; and for defalt of such heires, to the third Sonne of the bodie of the saied Susanna Lawfullie yssueinge, and to the heires males of the bodie of the saied third sonne lawfullie yssueing ; And for defalt of such issue, the same soe to be and Remaine to the Fourth, Fyfth, sixte, and Seaventh sonnes of her body, lawfullie issueinge one after Another, and to the heires Males of the bodies of the said Fourth, fifth, Sixte, and Seaventh sonnes lawfullie yssueing, in such manner as yt is before Lymitted to be and Remaine to the first, second, and third Sonns of her bodie, and to their heires Males; And for defalt of such issue, the said premisses to be and Remaine to my sayed Neece Hall, and the heires Males of her bodie lawfullie yssueing; And for defalt of such issue, to my Daughter Judith and the heires Males of her bodie lawfullie issueinge, And for defalt of such issue, to the Right heires of me the saied William Shackspeare for ever. Item, I gyve unto my wiefmy second best bed, with the furniture. Item, I gyve and bequeath to my saied Daughter Judith my broad silver gilt bole. All the rest of my goodes, Chattel, Leases, plate, Jewels, and houshold stuffe whatsoever, after my Dettes and Legacies paied, and my funerall expences discharged, I gyve, devise, and bequeath to my Sonne-in-Lawe, John Hall, gent and my Daughter Susanna his wief, whom I ordaine and make executors of this my Last will and testament And I doe intreat and Appoint the saied Thomas Russell, Esquier, and Frauncis Collins, gent, to be overseers hereof, And doe Revoke All former wills and publishe this to be my last will and testament. In Witness whereof I have hereunto put my hand,8 the Daie and Yeare first above written.

Witness to the pubhjshing hereof, Fra. Collyns, Julyus Shawe, John Robinson, Hamnet Sadler, Robert Whattcott.

By me William Shakspeare.

Probatum coram Magittro Williclmo Byrde, Legitm Doctore Comiss. fur. xxjj.d" die mensis Junii, Anno Domini 1616 ; juramento Joliannis Hull, unius executorum <L-c. cui <kc. de bene &c. jurat, reservat. potcttate <L-c. Susanna Hall, alteri executorum <tc. cum renerit petitur, (Inv1. ex1.)

• This sentence was originally only her. i was first written.

'Instead of Hamldt Sadler, Mr.Richard Tyler thelder, 8 Stale was originally written.

APPENDIX.

Purchase Of New Place. (Seepage xxxi.)

Translation of the foot of the fine levied "on the occasion of Shakespeare's purchase of this house. The original is now in the Public Record Office :—

This is the Final Agreement made in the Court of our Sovereign Lady the Queen, at Westminster, in one month from the day of St. Michael in the Forty Fourth year of the reign of Elizabeth by the grace of God of England France and Ireland Queen, Defender of the Faith &c., after the Conquest: before Edmund Anderson, Thomas Walmysley, George Kingesmyll, and Peter Warburton, Justices of our Lady the Queen, and others there then present: between William Shakespeare gentleman, Complainant and Hercules Underhill gentleman deforciant; of one messuage, two barns, two gardens, and two orchards with appurtenances in Stretford upon Avon: whereupon a plea of Covenant was summoned between them in the same Court; that is to say, that the aforesaid Hercules hath acknowledged the aforesaid tenements with appurtenances to be the right of the same William as those which he the same William hath of the gift of the aforesaid Hercules, and those he hath remised and quit claimed from him and his heirs to the aforesaid William and his heirs for ever: And moreover the same Hercules hath granted for him and his heirs that they will warrant to the aforesaid William and his heirs the aforesaid tenements with appurtenances, against him the aforesaid Hercules and his heirs, for ever: And for this acknowledgment, remise, quitclaim, warranty, fine and Agreement the same William hath given to the aforesaid Hercules Sixty Pounds Sterling.

Warwick.

[0» the back follow the Proclamations according to the Form of the Statute.]

Purchase Of Land From William Combe And John Combe. (See page xxxiv.)

The following is a translation of the foot of the fine levied on this property thirteen years after its purchase. The original is preserved in the Public Record Office:—

This is the Final Agreement made in the Court of our Sovereign Lord the King at Westminster, on the morrow of the Holy Trinity in the year of the reigns of James by the grace of God of England Scotland France and Ireland King Defender of the Faith &c. of England France and Ireland the eighth, and of Scotland the Forty Third; before Edward Coke, Thomas Walmysley, Peter Warburton, and Thomas Foster, Justices of our Lord the King and others there then present: Between William Shakespere gentleman complainant, and William Combe Esquire and John Combe gentleman deforciants, of one hundred and seven acres of land and twenty acres of pasture with appurtenances in Old Stratford and Stratford upon Avon: whereupon a plea of Covenant was summoned between them in the same Court, that is to say, that the aforesaid William Combe and John have acknowledged the aforesaid tenements with appurtenances to be the right of him the same William Shakespere as those which the same William hath of the gift of the aforesaid William Combe and John, And those they have remised and quitclaimed from them the same William Combe and John and their heirs, to the aforesaid William Shakespeare and his heirs for ever: And moreover the same William Combe hath granted for him and his heirs that they will warrant to the aforesaid William Shakespeare and his heirs the aforesaid tenements with appurtenances against him the aforesaid William Combe and his heirs for ever; And further the same John hath granted for him and his heirs that they will warrant to the aforesaid William Shakespere and his heirs the aforesaid tenements with spportenances against the aforesaid John and his heirs for ever: And for this Acknowledgment remise quitclaim wrranties fine and agreement the same William Shakespeare hath given to the aforesaid William Combe and John one hundred Pounds Sterling.

WARWICK.

[(k Ac bad follow the Proclamations according to the Form of the Statute.]

« AnteriorContinuar »